Have you ever faced a difficult season only to have friends tell you to trust in God? While you know their advice is right, it doesn’t seem very practical. What does it actually look like to trust in God through trials and discouragement?
David faced almost every trial imaginable throughout his lifetime. He lost children to illness and violence, was rejected by a spouse, was homeless, was the target of a crazy man’s murderous threats, was betrayed by a child and close friends, had a daughter sexually abused by her brother, and felt the shame of horrific personal choices. In spite of this, David was known as a man of worship and praise. How did he rise above his depression and despair time and again?
Psalm 22 gives us a glimpse into how David practically weathered the many storms of his life. Within this Psalm, we see a progression from discouragement to praise. David “remembered” his way out of discouragement.
After pouring out his feelings of despair, David wrote:
In you our fathers put their trust, they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
When we feel discouraged, we should remember the testimony of the men and women who have faced tremendous trials and testified to God’s faithfulness. We worship the same God as George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Louis Zamperini, and Joni Eareckson Tada. Like David, we need to remember all that God has done for His people throughout history.
Sometimes it’s not enough to remember what God has done for other people. We also need to recall what he has done for us personally, as David did.
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Can you think of times throughout your life when God has saved you? Redeemed you? Encouraged you? Make a list of “God interventions” and keep them in your Bible for those times when you need to remember.
I don’t know what causes you discouragement today. Your marriage or singleness, your health, a prodigal child, a financial loss, or maybe an unsettling silence from the Lord. Whatever has clouded your joy, remember.
You may also find the following resources helpful:
Java with Juli #153: Discovering Who You Are (member exclusive)
A Hopeless New Year? (blog)
Why We Don't Experience Victory (blog)
5 Secrets to Intimacy with God (blog)
Longing for Hope When Leaders Fail (blog)
Java with Juli #242: Worried About the Future? Find Hope Here. (member exclusive)